| Sheriff Jay Koon |

All the scammers of the world have a new tool to use to try and get your money: the coronavirus. I’m sharing this important information with you as a way to remind you to do everything you can to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Make sure you do your research before clicking on links associated with claims to provide information on the virus; donating to a charity online or through social media; contributing to a crowdfunding campaign; purchasing products online; or giving up your personal information in order to receive money or other benefits.

Our partners at the FBI have shared the following items for you to be on the lookout for as the COVID-19 response continues:

Fake CDC emails
Watch out for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or other organizations claiming to offer information on the virus. Be wary of websites and apps claiming to track COVID-19 cases worldwide. Criminals are using malicious websites to infect and lock devices until payment is received.

Phishing emails
Look out for phishing emails asking you to verify your personal information in order to receive your economic stimulus check from the government. While talk of economic stimulus checks has been in the news cycle, government agencies will not sending unsolicited emails seeking your private information in order to send you money.

Counterfeit treatments or equipment
Be cautious of anyone selling products that claim to prevent, treat, diagnose or cure COVID-19. Be alert to counterfeit products such as sanitizing products and personal protective equipment, including N95 respirator masks, goggles, full face shields, protective gowns and gloves.

The best sources for authoritative information on COVID-19 is